Natick November 2022

Natick November 2022

Natick November 2022


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Vol. 7 No. 11 Free to Every Home and Business Every Month November 2022

Coffee and Conversation

With Community


Promises Kept

By Sean Sullivan

For many families struggling

under the threat or reality of

homelessness, Covid arrived

as a pandemic within a pandemic.

The housing crisis had

been spreading for years across

America and beyond, a pathogen

spawned in part by an inadequate

quantity of homes and

their commodification.

Family Promise Metrowest

is a nonprofit whose mission is

to prevent and end homelessness

- an organization that has

been buffeted too these past few

years by the pandemic within a


continued on page 2

By Sean Sullivan

Let’s meet up for coffee.

The invitation implies informality.

A date, but not a date.

One needn’t arise early for a

shared breakfast, or commit to

an hour for lunch. And there’s

certainly no need to dress in

more-dignified attire as if for a


It’s “just” coffee.

Enter “Coffee With a Purpose.”

CWAP began as a regular

gathering of Natick residents, a

short time and venue set aside

to talk about local issues, stories

and other topics of interest. And

of course, to sip. Like so many

others, those in-person meetings

evolved into live video conferencing

early in 2020.

Many devotees of the drink

would likely quibble with the

notion that coffee in and of itself

is without purpose. Coffee,

they might counter, is a means to

many ends. Others might go further

in claiming that consuming

a cup of joe is the goal - that the

product and process are as one.

Yet the concept of coffee as

a centerpiece around which to

gather has been around for centuries.

Coffee with conversation

has likely been a natural pairing

since the drink was first discovered.

The first coffee houses are said

to have originated in the Middle

East, and really began to pick up

steam in the Ottoman empire

toward the end of the 16th century.

There, they were among the

scarce venues where people of

disparate classes and social strata

would mingle. Though dominated

by men, this early coffee

culture fostered the exchange of

ideas and information.

Religious peoples of more-recent

centuries promoted the drink

as a salve of salvation. Preaching

temperance and the faith’s work

ethic, Protestants found in coffee

an antidote to some of what they

believed ailed society.


continued on page 3



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Page 2 Natick Local Town Pages | www.naticktownnews.com November 2022


continued from page 1

pandemic. The Massachusetts

chapter was founded in 2008, just

one of many across the country.

Formerly, Family Promise

Metrowest worked closely with

religious congregations to house

families struggling with homelessness.

The group had established

relationships with these various

congregations throughout the

region, and the latter would lend

out their schools as havens to

house families in need.

One shortcoming to that system

was that a given family could

only remain housed at a congregation

for a week at a time. A

family would store their belongings

at the Family Promise Day

Center in Natick, where they

could shower and bathe, prepare

for work and school.

Evenings, that family would

then go to congregations where

they would have a home-cooked

dinner, time to connect, and place

to sleep. Come morning, the

routine would repeat at the Day

Center. They were then moved

to a new congregation, where the

process would begin again.

Imagine all the trials and travel

of the work and school week, and

then add atop that the stresses

and uncertainties of living under

a new roof - every seven days.

Though use of the congregation

space was a free and most

welcome resource, this rotating

model was less than ideal for families

treading water, struggling to

reach a stable shore.

Then came Covid, and the

congregation model was jettisoned

virtually on a dime. As was

commonplace in those heady and

uncertain days of 2020 , congregations

were reluctant to welcome

more people near their pandemic

“pod,” for risk of exposing their

flock to the virus.

Family Promise turned instead

to housing families in local hotels

- a costly alternative, but one

made more viable via pandemic-assistance

programs provided

then by government.

Then more recently, the

Natick chapter of Family Promise

lost its executive director. She

stepped away near the start of

summer to pursue other goals,

and the organization was left to

deal with a much more localized

challenge amid the global crisis

brought on by Covid.

“We had a whole lot of things

hit us all at once,” said Amanda

Elkin. “So it was a lot of fresh

starts for us in June.”

She had been serving as Communications

Director for Family

Promise Metrowest’s Natick

chapter, and took on the job as

interim Executive Director while

the organization seeks a full-time

staff member to fill the spot.

Yet among the many silver linings

large and small to be found

among the lingering dark cloud

that is Covid, there was this. The

pandemic gave Family Promise a

perch to glean a new perspective.

For many workers broadly,

that new perspective proved they

could do their jobs from home.

It meant the daily sentence of

round-trip commutes were commuted,

and they could repurpose

that time toward far more fruitful

and fulfilling pursuits. They

could be more closely connected

to family and community.


continued on page 4

November 2022 Find us on Facebook | Natick Town News Page 3


continued from page 1

The beverage was also a useful

elixir in emerging modern economies.

For capitalism, coffee became

the flipside of a coin, one

that could counterbalance the

adverse effects of alcohol on productivity.

How many constructive

and creative hours are lost to

intoxication no one can say, but

here was a beverage that seemed

to be a boon to the workday.

In “This Is Your Mind on

Plants,” author and journalist

Michael Pollan writes about coffee’s

pivotal place in human history.

If a species’ success is judged

by how far and wide it gains and

maintains a foothold in the world,

Pollan argues, then the coffee

plant deserves special recognition.

The author writes about the

plant as if it were a master strategist

in the evolutionary arena,

charming homo sapiens and

other animals with its stimulative

wiles, seducing the animal kingdom

into cultivating and conveying

coffee across the globe.

The book largely tells of the

travails of a tourist (Pollan himself)

within the world of wild and

homegrown consciousness-altering

substances, and java is the first

stop. A longtime consumer of

coffee himself, this episode documents

Pollan’s abrupt abstention

from the drink and the results of

this experiment. Among the effects,

he writes, is feeling like an

“unsharpened pencil” throughout

the day.

The character of Natick’s Coffee

With a Purpose seems to summon

the spirit of those Ottoman

cafés of old. Many of CWAP’s

regular attendees are town meeting


Speakers are sometimes invited

on the Zoom calls, visitors

who have causes they’re seeking

to promote, or human-interest

stories that CWAP members

would like to learn more about.

Other guests have included candidates

running for local office,

visiting via video to set out their

policy agendas.

Recent conversation centered

around the impending November

elections, and the ballot measures

that would accompany them.

But as anyone with recent

Zoom call experience can attest,

keeping such meetings organized

and on point doesn’t happen

on its own. Generally, CWAP

meetings are held Mondays and

consist of about ten regular attendees.

“I tend to kind of moderate

the sessions,” said Doug Hanna,

a Natick resident and longtime

CWAP attendee. “Sometimes

we get off track a bunch,” he


Natick resident Martin Kessel

organizes and runs the meetings

with Hanna, the two scheduling

speakers and seeking to keep discussions

focused. They assumed

those roles when Pat Conaway

stepped away from the group.

Conaway, a Natick resident still

very active in the community,

founded CWAP.

Its meetings then were held at

Natick’s Common Street Spiritual

Center, but have been online

since Covid.

“We would like to see each

other in person,” said Kessel, but

added that there’s no urgency to

do away with the Zoom format.

Meeting virtually, however, has

brought some unexpected benefits.

CWAP sessions are now

archived online in a dedicated

Youtube channel, and can be

accessed by anyone. And guest

speakers, of course, can now

take part in the process from anywhere.

The focus of CWAP’s core

group, however, remains advocacy

and issues near and dear to


“Each of us is involved in

some local project,” said Kessel,

who also is the chair of the town’s

Open Space Committee. “The

people tend to be advocates.”

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Page 4 Natick Local Town Pages | www.naticktownnews.com November 2022


continued from page 2

For Family Promise, that pandemic

pause offered a step off the

treadmill also, a view of the big

picture and a vision of ways the

program might be changed for

the better. The organization had

known the rotating congregation

model entailed added burdens for

families already struggling under

the weight of circumstances;

Family Promise had been debating

ways to change that model for

some time.

Yet Covid offered the organization

some breathing space, the

opportunity to develop a 5-year

strategic plan to map the Family

Promise vision and future. A

more stable, static model was

agreed upon, one where families

would be housed exclusively at

the Day Center, while all stakeholders

worked toward the attainment

of more permanent

housing solutions.

In addition, the Day center

was renovated this year, a physical

upgrade to aptly complement the

organization’s new philosophy


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and programs. The Day Center

can now temporarily house

up to three families while staff

work with them to transition into

homes of their own.

And within that new model

and renovated Day Center, families

also were afforded more

breathing room. Stability begets

stability, and the inverse also

holds true. Faced with all the up

and downs, the uncertainties that

come with homelessness - trying

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Elkin. “They can spend time and

energy focused on their goals.”

That’s also where another recent

Family Promise innovation

has proved invaluable. By focusing

on keeping families in their

homes, The Life program seeks to

short circuit the downward trends

that can lead to homelessness,

stop the crisis before it happens.

That, says the organization, is far

less disruptive to families, easier

and cheaper than getting them

back into housing once they’ve

lost it.

A major component of Family

Promise programs has always

been coaching. Staff and volunteers

act as an advocate and

source of accountability, working

closely with them to budget,

search for jobs, attain educational

credentials, and much more.

And that coaching dynamic

has been a major part of the Life

program’s success. Family Promise

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losing a home or apartment,

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Family Promise funding comes

from donations, said Carole Brodrick.

She is Director of Development

of Family Promise’s Natick

chapter. The organization relies

on grants and community fundraising

events, such as the Walk to

End Homelessness.

“We really have to do a lot

of fundraising on our own,” she

said. “Families are struggling.

We’re really educating the community

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November 2022 Find us on Facebook | Natick Town News Page 5

Kindness Week In November

Social Justice Parenting:

Raising Compassionate,

Anti-Racist, and Socially

Conscious Children

Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 7pm via

Zoom — For parents, caregivers,

and community members of all


guese Language Interpretation

will be provided at this event.

Big Leaf Rake

Saturday, Nov. 12, from 9am

to noon — For community members

of all ages

Please join neighbors and

friends from Keep Natick Beautiful,

The Rotary Club of Natick,

Natick Housing Authority, and

SPARK Kindness for an intergenerational

Big Leaf Rake

that happens every day and inspire

people to spread kindness

through their own actions and

connect with others. In partnership

with organizations and

community members, we seek

to promote small events and initiatives

throughout the week that

will inspire community bonding

around kindness and have a lasting

impact all year long. Everyone

is welcome to join us in the celebration

of kindness! Share your

pictures, stories, and messages

with us at info@SPARKKindness.org

or tag us on Facebook @

SPARKKind and on Twitter and


Visit SPARKkindness.org to register

for our FREE programs, to learn more

about the Fall Resilient Community

Program Series and Kindness Week,

discover additional resources, and get

information about how to volunteer and

support SPARK Kindness.

Please join us for this important

program in advance of

Kindness Week and as part of

our ongoing commitment as a

community to practice kindness,

respect, and justice for all! All

are welcome! This program will

address how to raise children

who work to promote justice,

compassion, and belonging for

themselves and others. Dr. Traci

Baxley will discuss the principles

of Social Justice Parenting and

offer strategies for implementing

these values into your daily life.

Simultaneous ASL and Portu-

service project in honor of Veterans

Day and to kick off SPARK

Kindness Week! Bring your family,

bring your friends, bring a

rake (if you have one!), and bring

a smile!

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Page 6 Natick Local Town Pages | www.naticktownnews.com November 2022

‘Bleeding’ Hearts

Artist Jo LaFalce completed

“The ‘Beading’ Hearts of Adams

Street” with funding provided by

the Natick Cultural Council. The

top heart consists of glued-on

crystals (too many to count!).

The middle heart contains 957

multi-colored beads of different

shapes/sizes. And the bottom

rainbow heart contains 3,714

pony beads. The “Beading”

Hearts took almost one year to

create, and Jo says it was a labor

of love for her and hopes that it

makes people smile!

The “Beading” Hearts of Adams


The “Beading” Hearts of Adams

Street is the newest public art installation

on Adams Street in Natick Center,

and is the creation of Jo LaFalce who

received a grant from the Natick Cultural


The project consists of three large

30”x32” hearts installed in a 9-foothigh

brick archway on the back of the

Fair and Yeager building.

One heart is decorated with vertical

rows of 957 multi-colored beads of different

shapes and sizes.

The second heart is entirely

covered with sparkling crystals (too

many to count!) of different colors,

sizes and shapes.

The third “rainbow” heart is

made up of 3,714 tightly-strung

pony beads in the color of a rainbow.

All three hearts make for a delightful

and eye-catching display of

spectacular colors!



229 Main Street Limited Partnership

31 Rutledge Road and 229 – 231 North Main Street, Natick, MA

MassDEP Release Tracking Number 3-3672

A release of oil and/or hazardous materials had occurred at this location,

which is a disposal site as defined by M.G.L. c. 21E, § 2 and the

Massachusetts Contingency Plan, 310 CMR 40.0000. On February 24,

2003, 229 Main Street Limited Partnership (229 MSLP) received a petition

from residents in Natick requesting that this disposal site be designated a

Public Involvement Plan (PIP) site, in accordance with M.G.L. c. 21E §14(a)

and 310 CMR 40.1404. As a result, the property addressed as 31 Rutledge

Road and 229 – 231 North Main Street, Natick (hereinafter the Site) was so

designated as a PIP Site.

As required, we are requesting your input in the Termination of the PIP

Process. Because the project has moved past the Phase report process,

through the Temporary Solution process (RAO Class C-1 submitted in 2010)

and is in steady state of Maintenance, Monitoring and Remediation, and

all past and future report will be available for viewing on the MassDEP

website, we are proposing Terminating the PIP for this Site. Contaminant

concentrations have decreased by orders of magnitude resulting in

significant improvement in soil and groundwater. Additionally, bi-annual

reports are submitted (uploaded) to the MassDEP on-line portal. A copy of all

submittals for the Site can be viewed at MassDEP website at http://public.

dep.state.ma.us/SearchableSites2/Search.aspx, using Release Tracking

Number (RTN) 3-0003672.

Any questions regarding the Termination of the Public Involvement Plan

should be directed to:

Edward Giordano of TERRA Environmental, LLC,

159 Haven Street, 2nd Floor, Reading MA.

Telephone 781-944-6851.

The disposal site file can be can be viewed at MassDEP at

http://public.dep.state.ma.us/SearchableSites2/Search.aspx, using

Release Tracking Number (RTN) 3-0003672.

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November 2022 Find us on Facebook | Natick Town News Page 7

Your Money, Your Independence

When Markets Give You Lemons, Make Roth Conversion

Glenn Brown

US equities markets are down

considerably in 2022 with S&P

500 Index -23.9% and techladen

Nasdaq -34.0% year-todate

through October 16 (YTD


At least there’s the US bond

market to help protect. Oh wait…

given rampant inflation, the Fed’s

blunt instrument of raising rates

is making bond values fall. Thus,

the US Aggregate Bond Index is

down -15.8% YTD 10/16.

Put it all together, a basic

60/40 stock/bond index portfolio

is -20.5% YTD 10/16.

What’s one to do?

Go to cash until you die?

Well, inflation would be an

issue. Consider the tales of lore

from parents sharing how much

they paid for their first house.

As painful as it has been,

step back and view annualized

returns of last 3-year period

(10/17/19 to 10/16/22), S&P

500 Index is +8.25% and Nasdaq

is +8.62%… in line with their 15-

year and 25-year averages.

There are many aspects to successful

financial planning, including

being proactive to change,

vetting all options for opportunity

and giving yourself time to reflect

prior to execution.

A year-end strategy to consider

for turning lemons into lemonade

is Roth Conversion.

Recall Roth Conversion is the

taxable act of converting Traditional

IRA assets into a Roth

IRA. It increases your taxable

income (MAGI) the year you

convert and you should pay taxes

with non-IRA funds. After age 59

½ and owned for at least 5 years,

withdrawals are completely tax


An added bonus is Roth IRAs

are not subject to Required Minimum

Distributions (RMDs) nor

are balances in Roth accounts a

factor in determining RMDs for

your tax deferred accounts. In

short, you’ll decrease your tax liablity

for years in retirement.

Anyone, regardless of income

levels, can convert to a Roth IRA.

With portfolios down -20% (or

more), market corrections provide

an opportunity to convert

IRA investments over to Roth,

pay less in taxes (as values are depressed)

and let the asset rebound

inside the Roth over time.

There are complexities and

variables, which many CFPs can

help with projections, scenarios

and provide recommendations

beyond “should” or “should

not”. Proper planning allows

you to estimate an appropriate

amount to convert this year (and

future years), project tax liability

and compare scenarios of portfolio

and net worth impact with


Some considerations:

The pro-rata rule and taxes.

When converting, the IRS considers

all traditional IRA account

balances combined and you

must figure out the proportion

of which is nondeductible contributions,

then use this percentage

to determine how much of your

conversion will not be taxable.

You can’t choose to convert only

after-tax money; the IRS won’t

allow it.

Not all-or-nothing. You can

develop a plan to spread conversions

over several years, even skip

a year or two as needed pending

MAGI levels and ability to pay

taxes with non-IRA assets.

What’s done is done. Given

that tax law changes now prohibit

conversion reversals (“recharacterization”),

it is important to be

measured, give yourself time to


reflect and re-run the latest data

before execution.

More to consider beyond this

limited space, talk with your tax

professional or Certified Financial


The opinions voiced in this

material are for general information

only and are not intended to

provide specific advice or recommendations

for any individual.

Glenn Brown is a Holliston

resident and owner of PlanDynamic,

LLC, www.PlanDynamic.

com. Glenn is a fee-only Certified

Financial Planner helping motivated

people take control of

their planning and investing, so

they can balance kids, aging parents

and financial independence.

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Page 8 Natick Local Town Pages | www.naticktownnews.com November 2022

Set the (Movie) Scene

By Sean Sullivan

Still acclimating to our east

coast time zone, Marta Pérez-

Coca responded to a text message

around 5 a.m. last month.

The filmmaker had just arrived

from California, where her

usual sleep cycle would’ve assumed

it was still just a few hours

past midnight. She and Michelle

Montemayor will be in Natick

until the end of this month, just

in time to have acclimated to the

differential, when they’ll return to

their homes in Los Angeles.

During their stay here, the two

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will be scouting for film locations

in Natick, having chosen it as the

setting for their latest film project,

a feature-length production.

It won’t be the first time the

town has been featured on film.

Local residents will do a double-take

when watching “Knives

Out,” a recent

whodunit feature

film boasting

an A-list cast.

A final scene of

that movie takes

the viewer south

on Main Street, driving over the

bridge to enter Natick Center.

“City on a Hill” is also another

Riverbend of South Natick

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addition to the canon of recent

Bay State cinema, a small-screen

crime drama series that follows

the travails of fictional Boston

police detectives. Further south,

“Hightown” is a serial drama that

focuses on a fictional Cape Cod


Hightown is based out of

Hyannis, the town from which

the series borrows its moniker.

Otherwise-picturesque Cape

Cod settings serve as backdrop

for the seedy and bleak storylines

that unfold. The Starz streaming

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“CODA” follows the lives of a

hearing-impaired family eking

out a living in


fishing community

and industry.

CODA won

several Oscars

including Best

Picture, and has

garnered many

other accolades.

Like its southern


the setting serves

as a main character

as the story



has tax incentives

in place

that seek to spur

film production in the Bay State.

That incentive program was adopted

in 2006 and was set to expire

at the end of this year. If they

meet certain criteria under the

program, filmmakers can save on

payroll and sales taxes, and other

production costs. The program

was designed to sunset in January

of 2023, but lawmakers voted last

year to make the package of incentives

more permanent.

Those perks aren’t without

their critics. A state panel that

evaluated the program cited its

cost to Bay State residents in uncollected

taxes, and said that the

exemptions weren’t the “best use

of the state’s money.” Yet its proponents

counter that the benefits

of attracting and retaining local

film production are not so easily

quantified and assessed.

But tax breaks weren’t the primary

incentive that brought the

two filmmakers to Massachusetts,

and Natick in particular. In her

college years, Pérez-Coca studied

at Boston University for a time,

and developed a friendship with

a local resident, whom she visited

here over several summers as

well. That friend happened to live

in Natick.

Pérez-Coca maintained the

friendship from Spain and Los

Angeles, where she now lives, as

does Montemayor. While that

friend now resides in New Orleans,

her mother still resides in

Natick, and welcomed the two

filmmakers to stay at her home

while Pérez-Coca and Montemayor

scout about the town for

their movie.

“It’s like a second home,” said


That film is “Here She

Comes,” a dark dramedy involving

a mother and daughter. Its

plot will follow the strained relationship

of the two, as they work

together to commit and cover up

a crime.

“You can laugh and gasp at the

same time,” said Montemayor.

Pérez-Coca is a native of


continued on page 29

November 2022 Find us on Facebook | Natick Town News Page 9


continued from page 8

Spain and Montemayor was

born in Mexico. The two filmmakers

met in Spain, where they

began working together in the

movie-making trade. In their

films, the duo tends to feature

a fusion of American, Mexican

and Spanish culture, and “Here

She Comes” will continue that

tradition, they said.

The main character will be

a native-Spanish speaker, who

must summon her mother from

the home country to help her tie

up some seriously fraying loose

ends. The filmmakers plan to

have the dialogue toggle between

Spanish and English, and will

seek local actors to fill some roles.

The movie, said Pérez-Coca,

will be filmed mostly in a Natick

house, though the town’s setting

will play a leading role as well.

“One of the main characters

in the film is the place,” said


The two filmmakers started

their scouting on a Friday in

the middle of last month, having

arrived on a rainy stretch of

weather that was just starting to

quench an arid summer.

Filming is slated to take place

in the summer of next year, as is

the movie’s narrative, so the duo

wanted to scout the town before

winter and the white stuff moved

in. Foliage was turning overhead

as they drove, vivid trees that

flamed up here and there among

a yet-mostly green canvas.

The leaves made Montemayor

muse aloud that they

might consider filming in the

fall instead. But Pérez-Coca shot

down the idea, seeming wary of

what might befall the shoot if

they strayed from the script.

Integral to the story, said the

two, is a body of water - a feature

that would facilitate the deed that

mother and daughter would be

drawn into. In the short time

Pérez-Coca and Montemayor

emerged from the shelter of their

rental car, they were drenched in

the downpour while checking

out the potential of the marsh

bordering Pickerel Pond. Later

surveying the expanse of Lake

Cochituate, the two stayed inside

their car.

“If I had to choose one town,”

said Pérez-Coca, “I decided, let’s

go to Natick. I think it’s perfect

for the movie, for the story.”

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Page 10 Natick Local Town Pages | www.naticktownnews.com November 2022

Annual Keeping the Promise

Event to Benefit Families Facing


Natick-based nonprofit Family

Promise Metrowest (FPM) will be

holding its 10th annual Keeping

the Promise event on Nov. 18.

This event, which will be

broadcast in front of a live audience

at Walnut Hill School for the

Arts in Natick and live-streamed

on YouTube, will feature performances

by two local musicians

and heartwarming stories of


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A small amount to a whole house…

three families being served in the

organization’s shelter, transitional,

and homelessness prevention programs.

Alli Haber, an up-and-coming

pop musician from Newton who

has performed widely including at

Boston First Night, will open the

musical portion of the evening.

She’ll be followed by headlining

performer Rhett Price, a

hip-hop violinist and internet

sensation who has been featured

on the front pages of Huffington

Post and Buzzfeed, and has

performed on stage with Aaron

Carter, Machine Gun Kelly, the

Dropkick Murphy’s, and many


Dover resident and Boston Fox

25 meteorologist, Jason Brewer

will be the emcee for the evening.

“We are so excited for this

year’s event, which will give you a

view into the lives of families who

seek our services. We are also delighted

to have this opportunity to

celebrate the many successes our

families achieved in 2022,” said

Carole Brodrick, FPM’s Development


To register or preview the concert’s

must-have auction items,

visit familypromisemetrowest.org.

The evening will also include

the presentation of the Cindy

Lombardo Volunteer Award,

given annually to an exceptional

FPM volunteer nominated by

families served by the organization,

and the FPM Legacy

Award, granted to an individual

whose advocacy, generosity, and

dedication to FPM’s mission will

have a lasting impact on the organization.

Keeping the Promise is FPM’s

largest annual fundraiser. The

proceeds from donations, auction

bids, raffle tickets, sponsorships,

and ads provide funding for

Family Promise Metrowest’s programs.

These programs address a

spectrum of housing and stabilization

needs including safe shelter,

transitional support, homelessness

prevention, shelter diversion,

and education and employment

services. The organization also

uniquely provides long-term

family coaching in all programs

to help families set and work toward

goals to achieve stability and

move out of poverty permanently.

FPM’s broad network of community

partners includes businesses,


continued on page 31

​DAET Hosting Forum

Around Talking To Your

Teens About Alcohol

And Marijuana

By Susan Manning

Staff writer

Discussing alcohol and marijuana

with your children has always

been important, but after

the pandemic, the need is heightened.

Local organization Decisions

At Every Turn—DAET— can

help guide this conversation.

The group is hosting a forum

on Monday, Nov. 7, from 5:30 to

6:30 PM, called Alcohol & Marijuana:

What Parents and Teens

Need to Know

Presented by Dr. Safdar Medina.

According to DAET member

Kristin French, Medina’s program

is focused on youth alcohol

and marijuana use. For the

past few years, with prevention

efforts laser-focused on youth vaping,

it is easy to forget that alcohol

use by young people remains

at concerning levels, and that

marijuana products, through legalization,

normalization, and

evolution, pose a greater risk to

youth today than decades ago.

Medina will discuss current

trends, provide facts about harmful

effects, and offer tips and resources

to help parents approach

these conversations. As a pediatrician

and a father, he will dually

provide the perspective of a

healthcare provider and a parent.

Ashland’s Decisions at Every

Turn (DAET) Coalition is a community-based

group dedicated to


continued on page 31

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continued from page 30

creating a safe and healthy Ashland.

“We work together as a community,

using evidence-based

education and prevention strategies

to help prevent, reduce, and

address the problems that can

lead to youth substance use. We

are dedicated to raising public

awareness, contributing to effective

policy, creating a sustainable

resource network, and promoting

community-level change,” said


Why is it so important to hold

this event before the holidays?

According to French, preventing

youth substance use is always important,

and something we work

at every day, but is particularly

significant this time of year. The

holiday season can be a high-risk

time of year for alcohol use, and

other substances, by teens.

Holiday celebrations, social


continued from page 30

congregations, organizations, volunteers,

and staff, all committed

to the promise of keeping families

gatherings, and school vacations

all contribute to increased access

and availability. Homes may be

stocked with alcohol for holiday

celebrations, alcohol is often

present at parties; and teens, now

back to in-person social settings,

may feel additional pressure by

peers to drink or use marijuana at

parties or informal get-togethers.

“It is critical that we help

support parents and caregivers

in communicating to their teen

that alcohol and marijuana use

is illegal for anyone under 21 and

poses numerous potential risks to

their health and safety,” she said.

French said this conversation is

especially important following the


“The past few years have been

challenging for everyone. We

know that parents and caregivers

are exhausted from COVID,

concerned about youth mental

health, and working really hard

to maintain family structure and


“Layering on conversations

about substance use may feel like

too much to take on, but it is actually

a good time to have these

conversations. Substance use can

impact all of these things ... how

teens respond to the impact of

the pandemic; experience stress,

anxiety, or depression; and contribute

family functioning.

“We hope parents join us to

learn more about the impact

of alcohol and marijuana on

the physical, social, and mental

well-being of kids & teens and

then seek opportunities for family

conversations about the importance

and benefits of remaining

substance free,” said French.

The event is Monday, Nov.

7, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., at

the Ashland Community Center,

162 West Union St. Registrations

welcome, but not

required: https://forms.gle/

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together and in safe housing.

Since its founding in 2008,

FPM has served almost 1,200

family members through its individualized,


programs. The organization envisions

a future in which every

family has a stable home, a sustainable

income, and the chance

to build a better future.

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Page 12 Natick Local Town Pages | www.naticktownnews.com November 2022

The Greater Boston Food Bank Honors MathWorks

with Founder’s Award

GBFB’s Partner Appreciation

Awards honor the most dedicated

hunger-relief volunteers, donors,

agencies and advocates

The Greater Boston Food

Bank (GBFB), the largest hunger-relief

organization in New

England, has named MathWorks

of Natick, as the recipient of its

Founder’s Award.

For nearly 20 years, GBFB’s

awards program seeks to celebrate

and show appreciation for

the individuals and organizations

that have collaborated to end

hunger across Eastern Massachusetts.

Throughout the month, 12

awards are being given to valued

partner agencies, public officials,

volunteers, donors and other organizations

that have made considerable

contributions to GBFB’s

mission to end hunger over the

past two years.

The Founder’s Award is given

to an individual or organization

that demonstrates extraordinary

leadership in philanthropic and

human services and exemplifies

GBFB’s mission through outstanding

involvement, dedication,

and leadership in working

with others to help end hunger in

the community. MathWorks was

awarded for its continued support

of Growing Healthy Futures, a

summer hunger fundraising campaign

which aims to raise funds

to help GBFB distribute healthy

meals to youth and their families.

MathWorks matched up to $1

million in donations in both 2021

and 2022 in support of the campaign,

and their gifts alone have

yielded more than 4 million meals

and are the catalyst for providing

more than 10 million meals.

“The Greater Boston Food

Bank’s ability to provide food

security for families in distress

is strongly supported by our

staff,” said MathWorks Senior

Vice President and CFO Jeanne

O’Keefe. “We are honored to

receive this reward and look forward

to continuing our support

for a renowned leader in hunger

relief within our community.”

The award was presented at

the MathWorks corporate office

in Natick on Thursday, Sept. 22.

From left: Jeanne O’Keefe, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President at Mathworks; Catherine

D’Amato, President & CEO of The Greater Boston Food Bank; Diane Bevan, Co-Chair of the Innovative

Development Council (IDC). Courtesy photo.

“MathWorks came forward

during the pandemic seeking to

make a bold impact in our community

amidst the backdrop of

unprecedented levels of food insecurity,”

said GBFB President

and CEO Catherine D’Amato.

“Over the past two years, Math-

Works has graciously matched $2

million in donations to support

summer hunger-relief efforts

while leveraging its gift to bring

further awareness to our mission

to end hunger here. MathWorks

has proven to be a leader in the

community, and we’re deeply

grateful for their partnership.”

The Partner Appreciation

Awards are one of many GBFB

initiatives throughout Hunger

Action Month in September

encouraging Massachusetts residents

to get involved in the fight

against hunger.

Those in need of food assistance

are encouraged to

visit GBFB.org/need food, where

they can find a list of resources

and search for a food program by

zip code.

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November 2022 Find us on Facebook | Natick Town News Page 13


New Coach Takes Reins Of NHS Cheerleading Squad

Rooney Lists Four Specific Goals


Staff Sports Writer

Lindsey Rooney is Natick

High’s new head cheerleading

coach but she’s no stranger to

coaching the sport and she’s

very familiar with the Redhawks’


The 39-year-old Rooney

coached cheerleading as a volunteer

in Natick’s youth league

for 14 years and also coached

the Redhawks’ jayvee team for

four seasons before spending a

year as the varsity assistant to

Samantha Baril.

Before graduating from

Natick High in 2001, Rooney

was a capable setter in volleyball,

pitched in softball and also

competed as a cheerleader. Now,

after two decades of instructing

and teaching the nuances of

cheerleading, she’s taken the

reins of the varsity squad.

“My philosophy of coaching

is for the girls to enjoy their experience,

reach their potential and

be competitive,’’ said Rooney.

“If they’re having fun and striving

to reach their potential, then

winning invitationals and tournaments

will follow. And, there’s

valuable life lessons that can be

learned from competing — like

overcoming adversity, being responsible,

learning to be a leader

and how to organize and manage

their time.’’

The native of Natick set four

goals for her squad when she

was appointed in June. “First,

I wanted to increase our numbers,’’

she noted. “Covid-19

forced many of our girls to leave

the program. Some left to work,

others left to focus on their collegiate

futures, and some left to

deal with other interests. Last

year, we had only seven girls on

the varsity and seven at the jayvee

level. Now, we’ve got 16 girls

on the varsity and 12 on jayvees.

“Another goal is to place at

the Bay State Conference meet,

move on to the regionals and

qualify for the states. At the

states, there’s always a chance to

advance to the nationals.’’

The Redhawks won the nationals

in 2016 and 2017 and

the 2019 team finished second.

Natick head coach Lindsey Rooney, left, and her varsity assistant, Casey Domrose.

Right: The 2022-23 Natick High cheerleading team has experience and is competitive.

As the jayvee coach, Rooney

played a role on the title team in

2017 and the runner-up squad

in 2019.

“Our third and fourth goals

are to ensure the girls enjoy

their cheerleading experience,

in practice and in meets, and to

rebuild the program’s rich tradition,’’

Rooney emphasized.

So far, two boxes have been

checked and Rooney hopes to

quickly complete the team’s

goals of advancing deep into

post-season competition and rebuilding

the Redhawks’ winning

tradition. The conference meet

is scheduled for Wednesday

(Nov. 2) and if Natick’s placement

is strong, then the regionals

and possibly the state meet

will be on its itinerary.

On Oct. 16, Natick participated

in the Milford Invitational

and placed second among the

three squads that competed.

Grafton High finished first with

83.6 points, the Redhawks compiled

75.2 points, and Brookline

finished third at 65.7.

“The Milford competition

came early in the season, so we

pushed the team to be ready,’’

Rooney said. “They performed

very well. Their stunting and

overall routines are improving.

The BSC competition is next up

and we’ll be prepared.’’

Rooney, who’s been an account

manager with Fair and

Yeager Insurance for 21 years,

built her team with competitors

who have the attributes she believes

are crucial. “Tumbling

efficiency, sharp motion (precise

movement), gymnastic ability,

strength, and the ability to project

a positive and welcoming appearance

are the keys,’’ Rooney

said. “The strengths of our team

are we’re athletic, the girls have

a high cheerleading IQ, they’re

mentally tough, they’re resilient,

they have experience and they’re


Natick captains — seniors

Jessie Pfahler and Gianna Tomassini

— are quality leaders

and are highly skilled.

“Jessie is a two-time captain

and a BSC all-star,’’ Rooney

said. “She’s great at tumbling

and she’s a very good flyer (capable

in the air). An all-around

competitor, she has a high cheer

IQ and is mentally tough. Gianna

is an all-around talent

who’s outstanding at dancing.

She’s a good back spot (one who

catches the flyer) and she makes

people want to watch her routine.

Her work ethic is excellent.’’

Seniors Mackenzie Rocheleau

and Michaela Goodwine

are experienced competitors.

“Mackenzie is a very strong

dancer who’s stepped up as a senior

leader,’’ Rooney said. “She’s

athletic, has a high cheer IQ, is

mentally tough, and always positive.

She’s a strong base (lifting

function). Michaela was in the

program as a freshman but left

for Shrewsbury. She’s back now.

She’s solid with her motion, very

positive and a strong back spot.’’

Five juniors provide outstanding

effort and plenty of other

key traits. They include Mark

Carney, the only boy on the

team, Sierra Domrose, Emily

Gaudet, Maeve O’Shaughnessy

and Eliza Standwill.

“Mark is new to the program,’’

Rooney said. “He’s a

good back spot, tumbles well

and is eager to learn. Sierra is a

great tumbler, a solid base and

a good leader. Emily has a high

cheer IQ, she’s athletic and is a

good base. Maeve is positive, a

leader, has all-around ability and

tumbles well. She’s a great back

spot. Eliza is very motivated,

positive, willing to learn and an

effective flyer.’’

Five sophomores, who all

competed at the jayvee level last

year, include: Keira Donaghy,

Sarah Doucette, Zahara Martins,

Julia Rocheleau, and Auburn


“They’ve all improved tremendously,’’

Rooney said.

“They’re very motivated, have

good all-around ability and the

attributes to succeed. Their

techniques also have improved


Freshmen Izzy Chambers

and Hanna Ferguson round out

the squad. “They’re both great

tumblers and their stunting is

very good,’’ Rooney said. “Both

girls have great attitudes and

they’re quick learners.’’

Rooney’s two assistants this

year are Casey Damrose (varsity)

and Abbe Adams (junior varsity).

“Casey is a former youth

coach who was jayvee coach last

year,’’ Rooney offered. “Abbe

was a youth league coach in the


If the NHS cheerleading

squad performs well in post-season

competitions, then it’s more

than likely that all of Lindsey

Rooney’s four goals will have

reached some degree of fulfillment.

Page 14 Natick Local Town Pages | www.naticktownnews.com November 2022

Taxpayer Energy and Economic Relief Fund to provide

one-time rebates to eligible MA residents

Over 430 homes sold!


118 Norfolk Road

Millis - $775,000


24 Hollis Street

Sherborn - $900,000


12 Sylvia Avenue

Natick - $659,900


5 Fruit Street

Norfolk - $549,000

I buy unwanted homes as-is, failed septic ok.

Let my 23 years experience of

selling homes help you with your next move.

Baltimore St, Millis & 10 Speen St, Framingham Offices



94 Ridge Street

Millis - $524,900


124 Hartford Avenue

Bellingham - $393,000

The House and Senate announced

their intention to create

the Taxpayer Energy and

Economic Relief Fund, an initiative

to bring immediate financial

relief to Bay Staters amidst

rising gas prices and inflation.

The fund will provide onetime

rebates of $250 for Massachusetts

taxpayers who filed an

individual return in 2021,

and $500 for taxpayers who

filed joint returns. Eligibility will

be determined by annual income

reported in 2021. Individual

filers who reported earning

between $38,000 and $100,000

will be eligible, and the maximum

reported income level

increases to $150,000 for joint

filers. Massachusetts taxpayers

will receive this rebate before

Sept. 30, 2022. Bay Staters

earning less than $38,000 received

$500 checks to offset

increased costs of living earlier

this term.

This type of relief program

was first proposed by State Sen.

Becca Rausch (D-Needham) as

a budget amendment in the FY

‘23 budget debate last month.

Her legislation, the People’s

Gas Price Relief Program, was

modeled after a similar proposal

in California and aimed

to provide Bay Staters with a

$200 rebate, covering the average

value of a gas tax suspension

for at least an entire year.

The amendment garnered bipartisan

support during budget


“People are hurting – struggling

to keep the lights on and

put food on the table – and

skyrocketing gas prices aren’t

helping,” said Rausch. “Massachusetts

residents deserve immediate

financial support through

these difficult times, and I am

proud and honored that my policy

proposal to offset high gasprices

will put money back in

Bay Staters’ pockets without

making them wait a year or

more to realize the full benefit.”

“Whether it is the rising price

of gas, groceries, or summer

clothes for kids, the Massachusetts

Legislature has heard loud

and clear that increased costs

due to inflation have cut into

family budgets,” said Speaker

of the House Ronald J. Mariano,

Senate President Karen

E. Spilka, House Ways &

Means Chair AaronMichlewitz

and Senate Ways & Means

Chair Michael J. Rodrigues in a

statement. “These rebates represent

the Legislature’s commitment

to delivering immediate

financial relief directly to residents

of the Commonwealth,

rather than to large oil companies

that continue to profit off

economic uncertainty and international

conflict, and follow

our efforts to provide $500 in

premium pay for lower income

front-line workers during the

pandemic. As we recognize the

need for structural change as

well, we continue to work on potential

changes to the tax code

with the goal of providing additional

relief to residents.”

Senator Becca Rausch represents

the Norfolk, Bristol and

Middlesex District, comprised

of Attleboro, Franklin, Millis,

Natick, Needham, Norfolk,

North Attleborough, Plainville,

Sherborn, Wayland, Wellesley,

and Wrentham. Senator Rausch

serves as the Senate Chair of the

Joint Committee on Environment,

Natural Resources, and

Agriculture and the Senate Vice

Chair of the Joint Committee

on State Administration and

Regulatory Oversight.

Recent Home Sales

Date Natick Amount

10/19/2022 12 E Evergreen Road $1.26 mil

10/18/2022 7 Joshua Path $1.18 mil

10/18/2022 380 Winter Street $1.85 mil

10/14/2022 30 Village Hill Lane $345,000

10/14/2022 7-7B Adams Street, #2 $786,750

10/14/2022 11 Russell Circle $730,000

10/14/2022 16 Sheffield Road $1.05 mil

10/14/2022 7 Thoreau Court, #9 $350,000

10/13/2022 9 Fisher Street $1.08 mil

10/13/2022 12 Elwin Road $1.38 mil

10/13/2022 40 Pond Street $710,000

10/11/2022 51 School Street Ext $712,500

10/11/2022 3 Village Rock Lane $265,000

10/07/2022 11 Maine Avenue $600,000

10/06/2022 59 Lakeview Avenue $712,500

10/06/2022 59 Lakeview Avenue $660,000

10/06/2022 13 Village Way, #18 $260,000

10/04/2022 13 Walden Drive, #8 $285,000

09/30/2022 59 Park Avenue $660,000

09/30/2022 48 Silver Hill Lane, #20 $284,000

09/30/2022 8 Mill Street $530,000

09/29/2022 48 Washington Street $680,800

09/29/2022 10 Lamplight Circle $1.16 mil

09/29/2022 9 University Drive $663,000

09/29/2022 5 Rockland Terrace $950,000

09/29/2022 48 Washington Avenue $680,800

09/28/2022 8 Westfield Road $565,000

09/27/2022 142 Walnut Street $619,000

09/26/2022 18 Algonquian Drive $1.40 mil

09/23/2022 4 Home Avenue $775,000

09/23/2022 41 Charles Street $560,000

09/23/2022 18 Richmond Road $1.02 mil

09/22/2022 291 Bacon Street $1.52 mil

09/22/2022 36 Burning Tree Road $650,000

09/22/2022 3 Moccasin Path $1.28 mil

09/20/2022 32 Walden Drive, #14 $375,000

09/19/2022 40 Nouvelle Way, #N147 $492,000

Source: www.zillow.com / Compiled by Local Town Pages

November 2022 Find us on Facebook | Natick Town News Page 15

Senate President Karen Spilka Awarded an Honorary

Degree From William James College

Senate President Karen Spilka,

a respected leader and champion

for diverse social issues including

mental healthcare, juvenile justice,

educational equity, and services for

the elderly, was recently awarded a

doctorate of humane letters, the

highest honor bestowed by William

James College.

Spilka, a former social worker,

attorney, and small business owner

was honored at commencement

exercises celebrating the William

James College class of 2022. Located

in Newton, William James

College is a nonprofit higher educational

institution that prepares

the next generation of behavioral

health professionals.

For the past five years, Spilka,

a Democrat who represents the

2nd Middlesex & Norfolk District

which includes Ashland, Framingham,

Franklin, Holliston, Hopkinton,

Medway, and Natick, has

served as Senate President. She

was first elected to the Massachusetts

State Senate in 2005.

According to William James

College President Nicolas Covino,

Spilka understands the importance

of workforce development within

the mental health sector and the

critical role that policy making

plays in the development and retention

of the behavioral health


“Senate President Spilka gives

voice to those who are often overlooked.

A staunch advocate for

accessible, high-quality care for

residents of every age and background,

she works tirelessly to

eliminate barriers to essential mental

health services,” said Covino.

Spilka is widely recognized for

her leadership during the height

of the pandemic. She pursued

the passage of Patients First legislation

which advanced support

for community hospitals, COVID

testing sites, and telehealth services.

Despite a crisis that resulted

in significant budget cuts across the

country, Senate President Spilka

helped establish one of the most

robust Rainy-Day funds in the

country which allowed the Commonwealth

to avoid cuts to social

safety nets, while expanding support

for housing stability, food security,

unemployment benefits and

much-needed relief for the hospitality

and restaurant industries.

A graduate of Northeastern

Law School and a longtime resident

of Ashland, Senate President

Spilka also holds a B.S. in Social

Work from Cornell University. She

has been married to environmental

engineer Joel S. Loitherstein for

more than 30 years.

About William James College

Founded in 1974, William

James College is an independent,

non-profit institution and a leader

in educating the next generation

of behavioral health professionals

to support the growing and diverse

needs of the mental health

workforce. Integrating field work

with academics, the College prepares

students for careers as organizational

leaders and behavioral

health professionals who are committed

to helping the underserved,

multicultural populations, children

and families, and veterans. William

James College alumni can be

found making an impact in a variety

of settings, including schools,

the courts, clinical care facilities,

hospitals, the community, and the

workplace. To learn more about

the College, please visit williamjames.edu.

Great time to Gobble Up a nice home!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Chip Sulser



“Serving and Living in Natick for over 38 years”

Care • Competence • Commitment

chipsulser.com | chip.sulser@commonmoves.com

Advisors Living Real Estate Welcomes


“I am very excited to be joining this

forward-thinking Real Estate Brokerage!”





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Page 16 Natick Local Town Pages | www.naticktownnews.com November 2022


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